This topic was brought up to me today in regards to a blog post. First let me say, that I am by no means a doctor and I certainly do not pretend to be smart (quite the opposite most of the time ha!). As I do before I start typing every blog, I thought I would research and find some quick facts to support our opening questioning.
Fact of the matter is, there aren’t any hard and quick facts that “yes, exercising boosts your immunity system”. Woah. Wait. It’s true though. Search through Google with a variety of catch phrases surrounding the topic and give a read yourself. There are thousands of studies on it. Many of them found conflicting results. One thing that makes the most sense to me is “it’s the immunity system”. Meaning, there are many, many factors involved in our overall immune system health. While we could very broadly say “going to the gym will make you sick less” because we are exercising; we could also very broadly say “going to the gym will make you sick more” because you are exposed to more germs in that environment. While both of those statements carry some validity, they are far too overly simplified.
If you have ever seen the “Sickness - Health Continuum” that Crossfit uses, we see a very clear picture. If we are “fit”, it stands to reason that we need to become “well” before we can come “sick”. In the big picture this is very easy to understand. If my heart, and therefore cardiac system, is highly conditioned, it makes sense I have to digress to “well” before my heart is sick. If I am at 12% body fat, I need to pass through 25% before I get to an unhealthy 35%. However, in the acute time frame this continuum also applies. If we have a full 8 hours of sleep. We eat good balanced meals all throughout the day. We drink the appropriate amount of water. We spend some time in the gym. Life is good and we are on the “fit” end of the arch that day. The next day we only got 6 hours of sleep. We ate poorly. We were under hydrated. On that day we are at best in the middle around “well”. And so, our immune system is compromised. We catch a cold or get the flu.
So while I can not say that “exercising improves your immunity system”, I can say that it moves the needle towards “fit”. Taken into view of the two above examples (long term and short term), it would seem that exercise is most definitely a big part in being healthy!
Exercise will help us stay healthy. It is a part in making our immune system function. The “system” has a lot of moving parts and we need to be aware of all of them. I’ll attach a link to a good “overview” of more aspects that will help along with our exercise. It’s from Harvard! How could I compete with that? If you want to have a little bit deeper of a read into the immune system, this does a great job. If not, do this. Each day, get a good sleep, eat real whole foods and drink some water during your day. Spend some time at 306 will hopefully be an important part of that day!
Let’s keep that needle moving towards fit!